Lasso’s OSC of the Month for July is Chandlar Wirick, Online Sales Consultant with Davidson Homes. In this interview, she discusses her path to become an OSC, how she sees the OSC role changing, and her favorite productivity hack.
What was your career path to become an OSC?
I got my real estate license in 2018 and started working as a salesperson with Keller Williams. I learned very quickly that I needed to be part of a team in order to become successful in the Huntsville, Alabama market. So, I joined a team and served as a buyer’s agent for just over a year, then decided to look for something steadier. I did not enjoy the great deal of admin responsibility that comes with being a general real estate agent, so I started researching the various home builders in my area and that’s when I found Davidson Homes. We build homes in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas. Our corporate office is in Huntsville, AL and that is where I’m located but I work across all 5 states.
I began working in the Online Sales department at Davidson Homes in July 2019, so this month marks my two years of being in this role! I manage about 300-350 leads a month, but as a team of three we manage roughly 800-1000 total leads per month.
What’s the best part about working on a team of OSCs?
Honestly? I think being on a team is great because you actually get to have time off… LOL! We have a rotating schedule that allows each person on the team to have two days off per week which helps me to keep a healthy work + life balance.
I also think it’s really great to be a part of a team because we’re given the opportunity to brainstorm, strategize, and problem-solve on a weekly basis together. Plus, I enjoy being on a team because I know that I’m not alone! I have people that have got my back and I’ve got theirs which makes the job less intimidating and more fun!
How have you seen online home sales change in the last few years?
Back in 2019 (before this crazy market) we dealt with many home shoppers but not many home buyers. When I first started in online sales, the process of converting an online lead to an appointment onsite was very different. I would even say it was much harder. We faced more objections and generally, people were skeptical about going out to tour a model home. People weren’t in a hurry; they were just looking for the perfect new home.
Back in 2019, using a steady follow up process was required when getting connected with a lead. You might reach out 5-6 times before ever hearing back from the customer. But these days, home buyers are anxious, frustrated, and hurried. They call with the intentions of moving forward tomorrow and they want all of the information now. They don’t have time to wait. Many people just need somewhere to live as opposed to shopping around for weeks before finally making a decision. Many builders over the last year have made changes to their websites by adding virtual tours or allowing a customer to get pre-qualified, have the appointment, and write the contract all through online interactions.
How do you see your role or the OSC role evolving over the next few years?
Many current and upcoming buyers today are millennials. And then it will be Gen Z. Personally, I am a part of the millennial age group and, as I’m sure you know, both of these generations are very familiar with technology!!
We are connected to our phones constantly. We know how to get any piece of information right at our fingertips within a matter of minutes. When it comes to buying a new home, this stays true. The younger generations and future homebuyers are starting their search online to find the best floor plans, pricing, amenities, photos, lot sizes, and more! And to be honest, they expect to find this type of information (if not more) online. With that being said, I think over the next few years, customers will know who, what, when, where, and why before they ever reach out to a builder. And once they call or fill out the form, they’ll be ready to move forward. So I believe in many ways, online transactions will become vital to the success of the builder!
I can see the OSC role shifting because this “new age group of buyers” are accustomed to getting any piece of information online without really having any face-to-face interaction. I believe the role will evolve to be less about an OSC providing the information and more about an OSC coaching the customer through the building process. This year I’ve already seen transactions done completely online with customers only meeting the onsite agent one time prior to writing a contract! I truly believe the OSC role will progress into a more vital position when it comes to sealing the deal on a new home!
What’s the most challenging aspect of your job? What do you do to overcome that challenge?
My answer to this question changes from time to time, but right now the most challenging part is dealing with the continuous changes in the market. This market is moving at a rapid pace. Prices go up weekly and the inventory of homes that are available for purchase or what can be built shifts constantly.
My team has worked tirelessly to establish processes that help with the constant change. Each OSC on our team is an ambassador for a specific state and that OSC meets with the sales team regularly to receive updates. As an ambassador, you are also tasked with keeping a document we call “The Community Information Sheet” up-to-date. The Community Information Sheets have quick facts about the community, lot sizes, unique selling features, amenities offered, appointment protocol and more. These sheets are a lifesaver! We also have an OSC email address that distributes to my entire team which has been super beneficial. We’ve trained all of our sales teams to use the OSC email address so that when changes take place the whole team is informed.
What are the most important technologies or tools you use in your role?
On a daily basis I use Lasso (duh!), Outlook Mail, Outlook Calendar, CallRail, and Zapier to be productive and effective. Zapier is a tool that my management has utilized to help us stay organized. It connects all of our programs and keeps everything working seamlessly. I also take advantage of texting!! Never underestimate the power of a quick follow-up text after a phone call or email. Even if you had a shaky phone conversation with a customer, just a quick text thanking them for their time and offering services in the future might pay-off in the long run! There have been many times that I’ve gotten a response from a text as opposed to email or phone call.
What is your “go to” closing technique to get an appointment?
I wanted to preface this by saying it has completely changed post COVID and amidst the market we are experiencing now. Home shoppers are anxious more than ever and they will do basically anything required to actually purchase a home.
An OSC isn’t necessarily convincing the customer to schedule an appointment anymore. Most customers are calling with the intent of getting an appointment. But in this market, the quality of your appointment outweighs the quantity! With that being said from my experience, the best closing technique today is honesty. As OSCs, we must be honest with the customer about what is truly happening in the community—what inventory is available, lack of materials, how long they will really be waiting for their new home to be complete, expected price changes, etc.… SET THE PROPER EXPECTATIONS!
What and Who are your “go-to” resources for training and/or support?
Do You Convert! They are amazing! If you haven’t signed up for the Online Sales Academy, then you’re definitely missing out! I have learned so much from the DYC team—Jen Barkan, Jessie Suggs, and Mike Lyon! They have a website full of free resources too!
And I would also like to give a shoutout to my manager, Lindsey! She is our OSC team’s greatest supporter & cheerleader. Lindsey is the Director of Marketing for Davidson Homes and helps to bridge the gap between marketing/sales. If you are an Online Sales Consultant and you don’t work congruously with your marketing department then I would absolutely suggest making that a goal for 2021!
Do you have a productivity hack you’d like to share?
Find a routine and stick to it! Once you discover hacks, that make your everyday tasks easier and more efficient, put them into place as a regular routine; follow that routine every single day.
Also don’t be afraid to take time off! Put the phone down. Rest and relaxation is crucial for an OSC! No one will ever benefit from your very best self if you are constantly being pulled in one thousand directions. You will be way more productive if you set aside time to do things that bring you happiness! WORK when you are scheduled to work. REST when you are scheduled to rest.
Do you have any specific successes you’d like to highlight?
Recently I was awarded with Davidson Homes OSC of the Year for 2020! This was a huge honor, and it makes me so happy to know that I’m making an impact.
Any tips or advice for fellow online salespeople and marketers?
Don’t be afraid of change! When I first started in this role it would take me a week or more to accept any sort of change being implemented. And I’ve come to realize that not all change is a bad thing! Sometimes the change is uncomfortable, but we must shift gears in order to move forward and prosper. If what you’re currently doing feels like a constant uphill battle—maybe it’s time for a change.
Another piece of advice would be L-I-S-T-E-N! I’ve always thought the best salespeople (and marketers) are the best listeners. And because as an Online Sales Consultant, we don’t have that face-to-face interaction or body language to interpret, it is even more crucial to listen. I have found that 90% of the time a customer will tell you the whole story and you will foster much happier customers if you take the time to listen. After all, it is about the customer, not us.
What are your favorite activities to do outside of work?
I am a big family girl! I adore my family and my dog so I spend a good amount of my free time with them. I am also a lover of the sun!!! If it’s sunny and warm you can catch me outdoors!! The beach is my happy place so I’m constantly looking for a chance to go. I also love to embrace my creative side with painting or interior design. And other than that, I really enjoy reading, shopping, exploring new places, college football (Roll Tide!), and church!